What Darebin has achieved in the past in energy efficiency, renewable energy or broader sustainability
Our award winning environmental initiatives like our Solar Savers program has established our reputation as leader local government:
- Darebin City Council leads by example, having installed 352kW of solar on its own buildings.
- The Solar $aver program has resulted in the installation of close to 500 solar systems on the roofs of pensioners and low-income households and over 100kW on community organisations. What makes this particularly innovative is the payment model, whereby Council pays for the systems up-front, and residents repay the cost over ten years, interest-free, through a Special Charge as part of their rates.
- Darebin has made significant greenhouse savings while also improving the resilience of those in our community who are most affected by extreme weather. We know that in Melbourne we are going to face an increase in the frequency and severity of heatwaves, and that this will hit our elders and low-income households hardest. Along with the Solar $aver program:
– Darebin Cool Shade provided external shading or draught-proofing for 482 vulnerable households.
– Darebin Fan Fair provided over 1000 fans to households prone to heat stress.
- The Talking My Language program worked in partnership with CALD communities to develop culturally and linguistically specific and appropriate engagement programs and materials around energy efficiency.
What Darebin hopes to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy or broader sustainability
- This year we will release our Climate Emergency Plan, a first for Australian local government.
Currently 11% of households and 1% of businesses have solar systems in Darebin generating 18 megawatts of solar. We will expand our Solar $avers program with an investment of $20M, which, together with a range of other initiatives, will double solar power production to 36 megawatts over the next five years.
- Darebin City Council is committed to more than doubling its own renewable energy generation, with plans to install a further 440kW of solar over the next five years.
- We will continue to educate and empower our community about the impacts of climate change and what they can to adapt to the changing climate. We will continue to bolster the resilience of our community by fostering sustainability leadership, enabling groups to take action, and supporting urban agriculture among other measures.
- The Darebin Energy Foundation will be established in the next year to accelerate sustained and meaningful action with the community, exploring innovative approaches in response to the climate emergency such as community owned renewable energy.
- The Darebin Nature Trust will be established in the next year to assist in reducing the urban heat island effect and protecting our biodiversity.
Why Darebin joined the Cities Power Partnership
Our vision is for a greener, bolder, more connected city and we must urgently reduce our greenhouse emissions to address the climate emergency which is causing damage to health, property and infrastructure. By joining the Cities Power Partnership we hope to make Darebin a more sustainable city fuelled by renewable energy. We look forward to sharing our successes with all levels of government and learning from the experiences of other Councils around Australia. The Cities Power Partnership also provides a fantastic opportunity to spread the climate emergency message. We invite all councils to join and declare a state of climate emergency and commit to the actions that will restore a safe climate for current and future generations.